Inclusion rocks! Music for all
BETTER SOUND 2019 | Category: 3.4 Social & Culture
Inclusion rocks! Music for All. Along this motto charity “Handiclapped“ organises and promotes barrier-free live music. With an innovative project data base, music workshops, congresses and over 250 live concerts, from rock, via hip-hop to choral singing, this project unites people with and without handicap, via the joint experience of sound.
“Handiclapped – Kultur Barrierefrei e.V.” is a Berlin based charity that organises everything to make barrier- free live music happen as often and for as many people as possible, since over 11 years. The aim is to create occasions and spaces to experience music as a common language, that brings people with different backgrounds together. Artists with and without handicap make music together for a likewise inclusive audience. This creates joint cultural experiences at eye level, an important aspect to create a truly inclusive society.
In the beginning was a passion for live music and the question, why people with disabilities are seen so rarely at live music events. The answer was not only the shortage of barrier-free event locations, but also high prices of tickets and late start times of most concerts.
Handiclapped concerts take place from around 6 pm to 8:30 pm in barrier-free locations. Tickets cost 5 Euro per person, assistants get in for free. The early start times are often critical, to prevent having to negotiate night shift conditions with care-taking services. The limited mobility of the target group makes it necessary that event organizers make special concessions. This is what the founders of Handiclapped, Carsten Ablaß and Peter Mandel do, together with the help of around 35 members, many sponsors, even more volunteers and countless fans. Main sponsors so far were “Aktion Mensch”, “Stiftung Pfefferwerk” and “Musicboard Berlin GmbH”.
Results of the first decade (+ one year) of Handiclapped activity, were over 250 concerts in Berlin and Brandenburg, featuring, rock, pop, folk, rap (even in sign language), hip-hop, blues, Greek and all other kinds of music. The concerts brought musicians with and without handicap together with an audience of more than 9500 people. Many of those very likely would otherwise not have been able to perform or attend such a live music event.
Additionally, 35 band workshops and 14 dance workshops were organised. The workshops became more and more popular and are now always booked out. An own “Handiclapped Band” was founded ten years ago. It now rocks at around 20 concerts each year. An innovative data base has been set up for barrier-free music projects, open to initiatives in all German speaking countries. It helps organisers to find the right band for their occasion. A live congress for “Live music and inclusion” took place with great success and will be repeated this year.
The commitment of the handiclapped staff continues just as the enthusiasm of the many volunteers, musicians and fans, as the project is taken to the next stage, to deliver inclusive live music experiences to as many places and people in and far beyond Berlin and Brandenburg, uniting people via the joint experience of sound, true to the motto: Inclusion rocks! Music for all.